Changing Missouri Scholarships

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The governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, recently tried to change the state’s scholarship system. But the state’s higher education board announced it was opposed to Nixon’s legislation, saying in effect that the scholarship was set up under the current formula for a reason. According to an Associated Press article by David Lieb in the Columbia Missourian:

About 47,000 students have received financial aid this year under the Access Missouri scholarship, which covers people from lower- and middle-class families.

The 2007 law that created the program allowed maximum scholarships of $1,000 annually for students at community colleges, $2,150 for those at public universities and $4,600 for students at private universities.

The proposed legislation supported by the governor would allow maximum community college scholarships to increase to $1,250 a year. Maximum scholarships for students attending universities would change to $2,850 a year, whether the students attended public or private schools. Students attending public schools would get a $700 increase. Students attending private schools would get a $1,750 cut to their scholarships.

The proposed law would allow the governor, who has already made strange manipulations to the higher education budget in his state, to both save money and appear to increase scholarships.

According to the article, 52 percent of Access Missouri scholarship recipients attend public universities. About 29 percent of recipients attend private universities.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer